The first time you hear someone yell “Happy Folk Fest!” followed by a roar of cheers that rolls across the campground, you’ll feel right at home.
The Festival Campground is a community of 6,000 that pops up in the middle of a prairie field for five days in July. It’s a wonderfully expressive environment created by all who participate. Campers make art and music, decorate their campsites (and themselves!) and share food, stories and experiences. It’s a beautifully organic community where lifelong friends and lasting memories are made.
The West Gate of Birds Hill Provincial Park opens at 7:00 AM on Wednesday, July 5.
Please arrive at 7:00 AM at the earliest when we are ready to welcome you. For your safety, line-ups on Hwy 59 are not allowed.
The Box Offices will open at 8:00 AM Wednesday morning and our friendly volunteer crews will be ready to greet and wristband you. Many campers arrive for the campground opening, so expect a wait.
The East Gate, located off of Hwy 206, will be closed until the campground rush is finished. It will open at 10:00 AM on Wednesday.
Birds Hill Park gates are closed between 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM daily.
Both the Quiet and Festival campground close at noon on Monday. Everyone needs to be packed out by then, leaving their campsites exactly how they found them - clean and green!
Drive through the West Gate on South Drive, and then turn right on to Festival Drive. You’ll be greeted by a traffic volunteer who will tell you to turn right into the Festival Parking area – not the Festival Campground Parking area. You will be queuing up in the Festival Parking area and getting your wristbands at the Main Gate Box Office.
Line up in the Vehicle Staging Area (see map below). Don’t worry, the volunteers will help line you up so you get to the Main Gate Box Office in the order you arrived and get you in faster!
The first few hundred vehicles in will be guided into Ticket Lanes (see blue arrows on the map), while the remainder will stay in the Vehicle Staging Area. As the Ticket Lines shorten, more vehicles will be added to keep things movin’ along.
When you arrive at the front of the Ticket Line, put your vehicle in park and a volunteer will take your ticket and bring you your wristband. Once you have your wristband, pull forward and follow the signs down the trail. The trail will split into two lanes:
The booth where you purchase Provincial Park Passes only take cash. We strongly recommend you get your Provincial Park Pass before arriving at the festival so you can get to the campground quicker. You can buy yours at most places that sell fishing licenses for $40.
You will end up back on Festival Drive where a traffic volunteer will direct you to the best place to park in the Campground Parking area. From there, you can grab your gear and get camping!
One of the best parts of camping is watching an empty prairie field turn into a town of tents and tarps! Most of the campground is designated for tents with a smaller dedicated area for RVs. That means no vehicles or trailers are allowed in the tenting grounds.
The campground is divided into zones:
There are treed areas throughout, which naturally are the most popular spots. Please watch out for the baby trees we planted that will become future shady spots to tent. Avoid camping in the middle of pathways; they need to be clear for service and emergency vehicles. In the Festival Campground, be prepared to fall asleep and wake up to drum circles wherever you camp!
Exchange your ticket for a vehicle pass when you arrive. Your RV pass must be visible in the window nearest to the RV’s entry door during the entire festival. RV spots cannot be reserved or held – they are assigned to vehicles in the order they arrive.
Everyone is expected to help create a safe and respectful culture at Folk Fest and in our campgrounds. Please remember that you are responsible for yourself at all times, and if you haven’t already done so, read through the How to Folk – Participant Responsibilities brochure you received with your ticket. The info is also on our website and our mobile app.
Camp near your friends and take your valuables with you when leave your site. If you’re not camped near your friends, make new ones by getting to know your neighbours!
Note the location of port-a-potties, water taps, garbage and recycling containers, pathways and landmarks. The campground looks very different at night.
It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the furthest campsite (RV) to the festival and 10 minutes to walk from the closest campsite (Zone 1A) to the festival.
Drive through the West Gate on South Drive, and then turn right on to Festival Drive. You’ll be greeted by a traffic volunteer who will tell you to turn left into the Festival Campground Parking area.
You will then drive down the Festival Campground entrance path and go to the regular Festival Campground Box Office to trade your RV Ticket for a dashboard pass and their Folk Fest Ticket for a wristband.
If you are being dropped off at the festival, let the volunteer who is directing you into the parking lot know. They will direct you to a drop-off area. The friend who’s dropping you off can then follow the signs to exit the parking area and be on their way.
If you ride your bike to the festival, but are not part of the official Bike Ride to Site, enter the parking lot by the path from the Festival Drive crosswalk. Head south to the Main Gate Box Office (labelled Main Gate on the map) to exchange your ticket for a wristband.
Whether you were dropped off or cycled in, once you have your wristband head north, across the Festival Drive crosswalk and into the Festival Campground by the South End Gate.
Once we have processed everyone in line for the Wednesday morning rush, campers arriving in the afternoon will go back to exchange their tickets for wristbands at the Festival Campground Box Office.
Campground shelters have been built out of reclaimed materials and are great places to gather, meet your neighbours and find refuge from the rain or the hot afternoon sun. Communal fire pits are placed by these shelters so you can pick a tune on your guitars together 'round a fire!
After the festival's over and you're ready to pack up your tarps and hammocks, please remember to remove all rope from the trees. Over time, rope left wrapped around tree trunks and branches strangles and kills the tree. We have already lost trees for this reason. Help keep the beautiful Birds Hill Park forest alive and healthy.